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‘We just can’t do this anymore’: Small business owners say federal unemployment handouts are crippling them

Small businesses across the country have reportedly fallen on hard times in recent months, but not for lack of business. Rather, they suggest that pandemic-related government handouts are keeping much-needed workers out of the labor force.

Business owners from Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, and North Carolina told the Dispatch recently that pandemic-enhanced unemployment benefits are stymieing their hiring efforts. It seems, they argued, that people would rather collect money from the government while they can instead of working in lower-wage industries such as the restaurant business.

“I’ve been in business for 33 years … this is the absolute worst it’s ever been,” Bill Anderson, who owns Dale’s Diner in Waterville, Ohio, told the news outlet. He added that it’s primarily back-of-the-house employees such as dishwashers, managers, cooks that he needs.

“Usually, we’ll put ads in in different locations to get people and we’ll get anywhere from 6 to 12 applications in the first week or whatever and we’ll get to take our pick — we’ll get to pick the best of that bunch. Within the last couple of months, we don’t even get a call — we don’t get anything,” he added.

Unable to keep up with generous unemployment benefits, Anderson closed his restaurant earlier this month. A line cook at his restaurant typically earns wages of $11 an hour, which amounts to roughly $21,000 a year for a full-time worker, he said.

But current unemployment benefits — which include $300 weekly federal payments often stacked onto similar payments made by state governments — pay much more. The Dispatch reported that an unemployed worker in Ohio could easily make $33,000 or more to stay home.

Last month, federal benefits unemployment benefits were extended to run through September as a part of the Biden administration’s $2.25 trillion coronavirus relief bill, which means that things won’t be changing anytime soon, even as the country begins to open up again.

“We just can’t do this anymore,” Anderson told the outlet.

His sentiment was shared by Kevin Rudzki, owner of Juana’s Pagodas, a popular beachfront restaurant in Florida panhandle currently short-staffed during the busy spring and summer season. Rudzki said his restaurant has two kitchens but, at the moment, there are only enough workers to operate one of them.

“We’re not even seeing applications, we’re not even seeing people trying, except ones that are playing the game of filling out the paperwork, so that they can say they tried,” he said.

“Normally, I have people lined up to work. I have never advertised for a job — ever. People just show up,” he continued. “My competitors are running ads on radio stations, Facebook, etcetera — the same thing. There’s no one.”

Across the inlet, Paul Ruiz, owner of Where Y’at Seafood, is dealing with the same problem. He closed his restaurant on Tuesdays to give his staff a break, but that hasn’t fixed the problem. Even now, he is short a line cook or two.

“You can’t incentivize people not to work,” argued Ruiz, a longtime Air Force veteran. “You need to have incentives to get people to work, not to stay home. You’ve got the hard workers who want to have a job, but the others need that motivation.”

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If You Believe Life Will “Return To Normal”, You Have A Fundamental Misunderstanding Of The Times In Which We Live

Despite all of the craziness that is going on out there, many pundits are trying to convince us that life will soon “return to normal” and that great days are just around the corner.  They are telling us this despite the fact that the state of Texas has been in a state of collapse this week, the real economy continues to implode, the unemployment numbers are going up, civil unrest continues to rage in our streets on a nightly basis, and our entire planet continues to become even more unstable.  Those that believe that happy days are here again have a fundamental misunderstanding of the times in which we live.  This isn’t a period of time when America is going to “build back better”.  Rather, this is a time when America is going to go even deeper into “the perfect storm”.

One of the reasons why so many on the left are feeling optimistic right now is because the COVID pandemic appears to be subsiding

According to a CNN analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University, the US is seeing a 29% decline in new Covid-19 cases compared to this time last week, the steepest one-week decline the US has seen during the pandemic.

Improvements have been made; in a White House briefing Friday, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the US continues to see a five-week decline, with the seven-day average of cases declining 69% since peaking on January 11.

We are being told that if the numbers continue to plummet like this, soon there won’t be a need for masks, social distancing and other restrictive measures any longer.

In fact, James Hamblin says that there is a possibility that “pre-pandemic life will return even before summer is upon us”

If all of this holds true, it would mean that many aspects of pre-pandemic life will return even before summer is upon us. Because case numbers guide local policies, much of the country could soon have reason to lift many or even most restrictions on distancing, gathering, and masking. Pre-pandemic norms could return to schools, churches, and restaurants. Sports, theater, and cultural events could resume. People could travel and dance indoors and hug grandparents, their own or others’. In most of the U.S., the summer could feel … “normal.”

But is this pandemic really over, or is it just transitioning into a new chapter?

According to the Daily Mail, the number of confirmed cases of “Super COVID” in the United States is now doubling every 10 days…

There are now more than 1,600 cases of the UK’s B117 ‘super covid’ variant in the US, according to a DailyMail.com analysis. Cases are doubling approximately every 10 days, according to a recent Scripps Research Institute study.

‘Super covid’ cases have exploded in two states that took opposite approaches to the pandemic: California, which has been under some of the nation’s strictest lockdowns, and Florida which has never had a mask mandate.

Cases of the 70 percent more infectious variant have exploded to 433 in Florida, in less than one month since the first case was discovered there.

Of course many experts are far more concerned about the new COVID variants that have emerged in Brazil and South Africa.  Both of those variants have now made it to the U.S., and we already know that the current vaccines don’t work very well against the South African variant.

Meanwhile, the U.S. economy continues to crumble right in front of our eyes.

On Thursday, we learned that another 861,000 Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week…

Last week’s initial jobless claims soared to 861,000, despite more states and cities lifting restrictive business measures amid a decline in the number of coronavirus cases. Economists had predicted around 773,000 first-time claims for the week ended Feb. 13. Data for the previous week was revised up to 848,000 from 793,000.

Unemployment claims have been at catastrophic levels for nearly a year, and now they are starting to surge higher once again.

We also just learned that a whopping 92 percent of all restaurants in New York City “could not afford to pay their rent in December”

A new report from the NYC Hospitality Alliance shows the extreme financial problems restaurants in New York City are facing, as 92% of the city’s restaurants could not afford to pay their rent in December.

The number has steadily worsened throughout the pandemic, from 80% of restaurants in June 2020 not being able to pay rent.

92 percent!

That isn’t what a “recession” looks like.

The truth is that we are in an economic depression, and there is no end in sight.

At the same time, communities all over the U.S. continue to be plagued by civil unrest and crime.

In cities such as Seattle, violent protests and riots have essentially become a nightly occurrence at this point.  But most of the violence that we are witnessing is old-fashioned crime.  One study found that murder rates in major U.S. cities were up by an average of 30 percent last year, and the chaos has continued into 2021.  If you want to see an example of the lawlessness that is prevailing in our urban areas right now, just watch this video.

On top of everything else, our entire planet continues to behave in very unusual ways.

For instance, on Friday morning there was a magnitude 4.2 earthquake in Oklahoma

4.2-magnitude earthquake shook Oklahoma and Kansas Friday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey reports.

The 4.3-mile deep quake hit near Manchester, Oklahoma, at 7:56 a.m. CST, according to the USGS. Manchester is in northern Oklahoma near the state’s border with Kansas.

It is not normal to see earthquakes of that size in the middle of the country, but of course we are moving into times when all of the old rules will no longer apply.

Earlier this month, I wrote an article about how volcanoes all along the Ring of Fire have been “starting to pop off like firecrackers”.  I believe that we have entered a time when we will see natural disasters become increasingly frequent and increasingly powerful, and despite all of our advanced technology we are exceedingly vulnerable.

Just look at what just took place in Texas.  A single wave of cold weather plunged the state into a nightmare scenario.

If cold weather can cause this much chaos in Texas, what would a much more severe long-term emergency mean for our entire nation?

The events of the past week should be a wake up call for all of us, because the road ahead is certainly not going to get any easier.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter and Parler, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

The post If You Believe Life Will “Return To Normal”, You Have A Fundamental Misunderstanding Of The Times In Which We Live first appeared on End Of The American Dream.

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STALEMATE: 2ND STIMULUS – THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING!

This article was contributed by Future Money Trends. 

Nancy Pelosi wants a stimulus bill that is over $3 trillion. Mitch McConnell wants to pass something in the order of $500 billion. These leaders are clearly worlds apart. Nancy even rejected bills that were $1.5 trillion, saying that they were “nice but not nearly enough.” On the other hand, conservative Republicans are saying that the free market ought to be taking the lead while the government has done enough and that the debt is already gigantic.

The problem is that neither party wants to concede, giving even an inch to the other side since they’ll appear weak in front of their voters. Both parties desperately want to win the Senate race in Georgia. It’s going to get very political, with hundreds of millions raised for the cause, and January 5th is the vote – even Trump and Biden might campaign. The problem is that January 1st comes before that and if nothing is done, millions of people, many of which are parents with children, face evictions since they’re not capable of paying rent, while millions of others will cease receiving enhanced unemployment benefits.

Therefore, a bipartisan group of senators is working on a bridge-stimulus plan as we speak.

Future Money Trends believes that there’s a strong chance that, when it comes to rent, an extension of the moratorium will be introduced. If it doesn’t, Q1 2021 could be one of the best times to purchase homes since prices will dip because of the excess inventory.

Courtesy: Zerohedge.com

November has been the best-ever month for stocks on a global basis. It’s absolutely mind-boggling how much euphoria is out there. When you think about mortgage forbearance, which has allowed households to “save” $1,000 to $2,000 every single month since the bill was introduced, you can understand how much leverage is being put into the stock market that will need to be taken out later. Households have been using the extra cash to invest, but they’ll need to pull it out, at some point.

It’s happening all over the place and the temptation to trade has never been bigger.

As you can see above, indices of entire nations have gone up in one month as much as stocks return in 4 or 5 years.

The technical Relative Strength Indicators (RSI) are just green everywhere, save for precious metals most likely.

Courtesy: Zerohedge.com

On the 15th of December, the FED will convene to discuss interest rates and asset purchases, going forward. If there’s no bipartisan bill by then, we believe they’ll increase QE again.

There are now talks about forgiving student loan debts from $10,000 to upwards of $50,000. There are 45 million Americans who have student loans, and these are individuals who struggle to originate mortgages, raise their credit scores, and save anything.

On the flip side, forgiving these loans will fuel even more socialistic programs, and will cause tuition in this country to be jacked up further, argue the fiscally-conservative. It’s also unfair to reward debtors while punishing those that chose not to assume massive obligations.

In our assessment, when the next president asks his economic advisors for the best ROI for another fiscal program, they’ll point towards state and local government aid, where for every $1,000,000 spent, nearly 90% of it goes immediately back to the economy.

This is much higher than in the case of student loans, so while Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders introduce far-left initiatives, it doesn’t seem like that’s the way the country is headed.

We currently put the odds of stimulus checks hitting the mailboxes of Americans as being very low in the next 40 days. We give it more of a chance after January 20th, but if the bipartisan proposal somehow passes, markets will celebrate this surprise.

As for us, we are not aggressively participating in this party. There’s not enough alcohol in the world to convince us to play with fire.

 

The post STALEMATE: 2ND STIMULUS – THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING! first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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74% of families with children making less than $100,000 have “experienced serious financial problems” during this crisis

The reason why so many people are clamoring for Congress to get another stimulus bill passed is because an unprecedented number of households are in desperate financial need right now.  As you will see below, millions of Americans missed their rent or mortgage payments last month, millions missed their student loan payments, and millions are falling into poverty.  The economic downturn that was sparked by the coronavirus pandemic has stretched on far longer than most people originally anticipated, and many Americans are simply running out of money at this point.  In fact, one survey that was conducted not too long ago found that 40 percent of all households have “used up all or most of their savings” and 74 percent of families with children that make less than $100,000 a year have “experienced serious financial problems” during this crisis…

Nationwide, food insecurity has become a pervasive problem. The percentage of families with children who reported not having enough to eat more than tripled in July compared with 2019. One report found nearly half of American families lived with hunger in the summer.

Another found more than 40% of surveyed households with children had used up all or most of their savings by early August. Children in households making less than $100,000 have been especially affected: 74% of those families experienced serious financial problems.

Those are deeply alarming numbers.

If “nearly half” of U.S. families are living with hunger now, how bad will things get if the U.S. economy takes another turn for the worse?

One hard working American that has almost reached her breaking point is a 43-year-old veteran and mother of three named Kaneadsha Jones…

By early October, Kaneadsha Jones was close to giving up. It had been seven months since she or her husband had steady work. Seven months since her three school-age children, including a 14-year-old daughter with autism who is blind, nonverbal and immunocompromised, had been to school. Four months since a shooting on her block left her car and her family’s rented house in north Columbus, Ohio, riddled with bullet holes and her 12-year-old daughter struggling with severe post-traumatic stress disorder.

When she received the first stimulus check from the federal government, she used it all to pay utility bills that were past due.

But since then there have been no more checks and the bills have just continued to pile up.

She continues to fight for the sake of her family, but she admits that she is really, really tired

“I’m so tired,” Jones said. “It seems nothing is getting a little better. The only thing that keeps me trying is my family.”

Have you ever felt like she is feeling right now?

I think that most of us have at some point in our lives.

All across the country, unemployed workers are becoming very desperate because they are starting to exhaust their unemployment benefits and they still haven’t been able to find jobs.  One such individual is a chemist in Ohio named Kate McAfee

New research from JPMorgan Chase Institute and the University of Chicago focused on 80,000 unemployed people shows savings built up when the government provided aid is now rapidly running out, leaving people like chemist Kate McAfee fretting about their futures.

“I’m still unemployed,” said McAfee, who was laid off from her job outside Cleveland back in April. “I’ve now exhausted my 26 weeks of unemployment here in Ohio and have moved on to the additional 13 weeks of extended benefits from the federal government.”

Since the pandemic started, more than 64 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits, and every single one of those workers has a unique story.

Most of them had at least some savings, but when you are not working month after month those savings tend to disappear very quickly.

Now as we approach the holiday season a lot of people have completely run out of money and lots of bills are starting to go unpaid.

For example, it is being reported that over 6 million households didn’t pay their rent or mortgage last month…

More than 6 million households failed to make their rent or mortgage payments in September, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Research Institute for Housing America, a sign that the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic is weighing on jobless Americans as Congress stalls on relief measures.

And we are also being told that approximately 26 million Americans didn’t make their student loan payment last month…

In September, roughly 26 million people missed their student loan payment. The proportion of student debt borrowers who missed a monthly payment has remained steady at 40% since May.

We have never seen anything like this before.

Just like during the last recession, vast numbers of Americans that once lived comfortable middle class lifestyles are rapidly falling into poverty.

In fact, one recent study found that 8 million Americans have fallen into poverty just since the month of May

Some eight million Americans have fallen below the poverty level since May after federal stimulus money dried up and Congress did not follow up with more relief legislation, according to a new study.

Meanwhile, the economic recovery has slowed down as more than 55 million Americans are now earning less than $26,200 a year – which is what the federal government considers the poverty line.

Coming into this year, most Americans were living paycheck to paycheck and were very deep in debt.

That works okay as long as the paychecks keep coming in, but once they stop things can take a disastrous turn very quickly.

Today, the average American has accumulated $90,460 in debt, and Generation X is drowning in more debt than anyone else…

  • Gen Z (ages 18 to 23): $9,593
  • Millennials (ages 24 to 39): $78,396
  • Gen X (ages 40 to 55): $135,841
  • Baby boomers (ages 56 to 74): $96,984
  • Silent generation (ages 75 and above): $40,925

The sad truth is that most of the U.S. population is simply not in any position to handle times of extreme financial stress.

Unfortunately, this pandemic is not going away any time soon, and that means that industries all over America will continue to let more workers go as economic conditions continue to deteriorate.

And as economic conditions continue to get worse, the level of economic suffering that Americans like Kaneadsha Jones and Kate McAfee are experiencing will continue to intensify.

This has already been such a challenging time for our country, and to be honest the days ahead are looking quite bleak at this point.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

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Millions Of Americans Are Now Making Far More Money Being Unemployed Than They Did When They Were Actually Working

More than 26 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits in recent weeks, and a lot of them will now be bringing home much more money than they did while they were actually working.  Needless to say, this is going to create a perverse incentive for people to stay unemployed for as long as possible.  Just think about this for a moment.  If you could earn more money sitting on your sofa gobbling down chips and watching Netflix, what possible motivation would you have to go back to work?  Many low paid workers are going to want to ride this gravy train all the way to the end, and as you will see below, this is already causing big problems for businesses all across America.

So how did we get to this point?

Well, the Democrats pushed extremely hard to get a provision into the CARES Act that would give unemployed workers an additional $600 a week on top of any normal unemployment benefits.  The following comes from USA Today

The CARES Act includes a $600-a-week bonus until July 31 for those registered as unemployed. The $600 is issued in addition to the standard unemployment benefit, which varies by state and by individuals’ record of previous earnings.

This means that for the next several months, unemployed workers all over America will be bringing home at least the equivalent of $15 an hour based on a 40 hour work week, and some Republican members of Congress were very concerned about this…

Some Republican lawmakers warned about this unintended consequence of the relief bill when it was being drafted, noting that $600 a week amounts to $15 an hour, more than twice the federal minimum wage. That’s in addition to state unemployment benefits, which vary widely, from a maximum of $235 per week in Mississippi to $795 per week in Massachusetts.

Despite those concerns, the CARES Act easily sailed through both chambers of Congress, and now we are stuck with it.

If it was just a small percentage of workers that were being overpaid not to work, we could certainly live with that on a temporary basis.

But according to one study, more than 42 percent of all workers made less than $15 an hour in 2015

According to a report by the Leadership Conference Fund and the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality, 42.4% of people working in the United States in 2015 earned less than $15 an hour.

So how is the economy supposed to “get back to normal” if more than 40 percent of our workers would be better off unemployed?

In a previous article, I documented the fact that Social Security Administration numbers show that half of all U.S. workers make less than $33,000 a year.  Of course if you multiply $600 by 52 weeks, you get $31,200.  The provision in the CARES Act that pays this bonus money to unemployed workers is supposed to expire on July 31st, but there is likely going to be a tremendous push to extend these benefits far beyond that date.

To some of my readers, it may sound “heartless” to want to deny unemployed workers these big checks during a global pandemic, but businesses all over America are not going to be able to “return to normal” if millions upon millions of workers simply do not want to work.

In fact, a coffee shop owner in Harlan, Kentucky named Sky Marietta just had to close her entire business down because it would cost her former employees “literally hundreds of dollars per week” to be employed.  The following comes from her personal blog

When our family opened a coffee shop in Harlan, Kentucky we had big plans for something that could contribute to the fragile economy of an Appalachian community just beginning to recover from the decades-long loss of coal jobs. We wanted to repurpose a vacant, historic downtown building to give some life to a Main Street that was beautiful but looked forgotten. We wanted to provide a safe gathering space with good internet where people could meet and work. But more than anything, we wanted to create dignified, living-wage jobs. And when we announced our first openings, it was clear that those jobs were needed: we had 96 people apply to be a barista in a town with a population of 1,425.

So perhaps one of the most shocking outcomes of the Coronavirus Pandemic – and especially of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) – is that the very people we hired have now asked us to be laid off. Not because they did not like their jobs or because they did not want to work, but because it would cost them literally hundreds of dollars per week to be employed. It is the nail in the coffin of a Main Street business, and our last day open will be Saturday. Let’s talk about why the very program that is supposed to support small businesses is currently helping their demise and take a hard look at the economic realities we are setting ourselves up for.

Are you starting to understand how serious this is?

Without workers, we don’t have an economy, and right now we are incentivizing people not to work.

In an article that was just posted, Zero Hedge is reporting that employees at one business in Washington State were “furious” with the owner because the owner has kept paying them during this crisis…

And now, as BizPacReview.com’s Vivek Saxena details below a Washington State business owner faced backlash from her employees after she obtained a forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loan from the federal government that has allowed her to keep them fully paid through the coronavirus pandemic.

In an interview with CNBC this week, salon owner Jamie Black-Lewis of the Oasis Medspa & Salon in Woodinville and Amai Day Spa in Bothell said her employees were furious because they were already “making” more money being unemployed.

For the foreseeable future, there is going to be an unprecedented stampede of people applying for unemployment benefits, and almost all of them are going to want to stay unemployed until at least July 31st.

And if the CARES Act bonuses get extended, most unemployed workers are going to want to remain on the sidelines until the bonuses finally end.

For a very long time I have been warning that economic collapse was coming, and now that it has arrived Congress is making it even worse with their meddling.

So don’t expect the unemployment rate to bounce back very much once this pandemic begins to subside.  Congress has decided to make it very financially rewarding not to work, and millions upon millions of Americans are going to be more than happy to take advantage of that opportunity for as long as it lasts.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

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